Kent State Encourages Timely Graduation by Eliminating Additional Fee for 17th and 18th Credit Hours; No Decision Rendered on In-State Undergraduate Tuition Rate
With the strong support of Kent State University President Beverly Warren, who throughout her first year in office has encouraged undergraduates to enroll in at least 15 credit hours per semester in order to reap the personal, professional and financial benefits of graduating in four years, the Kent State Board of Trustees today (June 4) eliminated the additional per-credit-hour fee charged to students who enroll in 17 and 18 credit hours per semester. The Board also increased the full-time fee plateau for Kent Campus undergraduate students from the current range of 11-16 hours to 12-18 hours. The result is that, effective fall semester 2015, Kent Campus undergraduates will pay an additional fee only if they enroll in 19 or more credit hours.
The tuition plateau was established in fall 2012 to help pay for capital improvements. Trustees said that the $3.1 million that will be lost through the elimination of the additional fee for 17 and 18 credit hours will be offset by cost-cutting measures that will be developed during the coming months.
Because the state budget is still under development by the Ohio General Assembly, the Board is deferring a decision on undergraduate tuition for in-state students, which is currently $5,006 per semester. The board will make a final decision about tuition once the state budget is finalized.
Effective fall semester 2015, the Board increased the basic tuition rate for graduate students by 2 percent (from $5,326 per semester to $5,432 per semester); increased the undergraduate tuition surcharge for undergraduate students who are not Ohio residents by 3 percent (from $3,980 to $4,100); and increased the rates for fully online courses offered at the university’s seven Regional Campuses, equalizing the fee charged for online courses, regardless of which campus offers the course. This does not affect courses offered exclusively in the Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Technical Studies or Associate of Applied Business programs. The Board also increased just a few special fees for selected programs and courses. For example, increases from 1.5 percent to 5.1 percent were approved for 10 courses in Kent State’s nationally respected and costly-to-operate flight-training program for flight instruction; a $200 increase was approved to both cover the costs of a field trip to New York City for students in the School of Theatre and Dance and maximize discounts possible through group purchases; and the application fee for students who wish to study abroad was increased from $30 to $60.
Board Approves Continuation Budget for FY 2016 Pending Finalization of State Budget
With the Ohio Legislature’s deliberations about the state budget bill (House Bill 64) for the next biennium still underway, the Kent State Board of Trustees authorized Warren and the university’s chief financial officer to spend university funds in fiscal year 2015-16 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016) at the same spending levels authorized by the Board for fiscal year 2014-15. Once the state budget is finalized, a complete operating budget for fiscal year 2015-16 will be prepared and submitted to the Board for approval.
Analyze This: Kent State Creates Degree in Analytics, One of Nation’s Fastest-Growing Fields
The Kent State Board of Trustees established the Business Analytics major within the Master of Science degree, effective fall 2016 and pending approval of the Ohio Board of Regents and the Higher Learning Commission. Analytics is the science of turning data into meaningful information that businesses can use to gain a competitive advantage.
Demand for business analytics expertise now transcends all areas of business and, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2022 projections, data analytics is among the nation’s fastest-growing occupations. The proposed graduate-degree program, which was developed with strong support from industries across Northeast Ohio, will be housed in the Department of Management and Information Systems in Kent State’s College of Business Administration. It will educate students to become cross-functional decision makers at multiple levels of an organization’s complex, data-driven decision-making process.
Board Accepts Fact-Finder Report on Collective-Bargaining Agreement with AFSCME Local 153
The Kent State Board of Trustees today voted to accept the report of a fact-finder appointed by the State Employment Relations Board to make recommendations regarding all unresolved issues between the university and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 153 in their negotiations to reach a collective-bargaining agreement. AFSCME represents about 384 employees in the bargaining unit, covering classified positions of food-service workers, cooks, maintenance workers, skilled trades and similar classifications.
The previous agreement between the university and AFSCME expired Sept. 30, 2014, and the parties initially met in July 2014 to negotiate a successor agreement. Fact-finder hearings about unresolved issues were held this year on March 4 and 6, and on April 29. Fact-finder James Mancini issued his report and recommendations, which address wages, medical-insurance premiums, an insurance reopener and other issues, on May 29, 2015.
In accordance with state law, the union membership and the Board of Trustees each have seven days from the report issuance date to act on the report.
Naming Decisions Reflect External Support
The Board named two areas in the new Sciences Building at Kent State University at Stark in honor of the Aultman Health Foundation. The Aultman Nursing Simulation Laboratory and the Aultman Study Room were named to recognize the Foundation’s gifts and pledges totaling $150,000 for the construction of the Sciences Building and the existing nursing laboratory. The new building, which will occupy about 41,140 square feet with the renovation of about 5,250 square feet of existing space in the Main Hall East Wing, is scheduled to open for fall 2015 classes. The new facility will offer students in science-related programs a state-of-the-art learning environment.
The Board also named the East Liverpool, Ohio, home of the late James and Margaret Locke, in honor of those two respected community leaders, philanthropists and supporters of Kent State University at East Liverpool. The home of the couple, who owned and operated Locke Jewelers, was donated to the university by their sons, James A. Locke III and Keith E. Locke, in memory of their parents and their legacy of giving back, and as the lead gift to provide enhanced learning opportunities to students in the occupational therapy program. The fully handicap-accessible home, which will be known as the James and Margaret Locke Occupational Therapy Facility, will be used as an occupational therapy laboratory for instructional purposes as a part of the allied-health programs at Kent State at East Liverpool.
In addition, the Board named the Visual Resource Center in the new Center for Visual Arts on the Kent Campus the Alumni Visual Resource Center in honor of Dr. Christine Havice, director of Kent State’s School of Art and a respected art historian. Havice, who has served as director for nearly 12 years, committed $25,000 toward the renovation and construction of the new center, which is expected to be completed in December 2015 and will unify the School of Art’s studio, classroom and gallery spaces under one roof for the first time in more than 50 years. Havice requested that the facility be named to recognize the creativity and contributions of School of Art students past and present.
Board Expresses Gratitude for Outstanding Service
The retirements and departures of several accomplished administrators were recognized by the Kent State Board of Trustees. The Board unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Dr. Emilio Ferrara, an alumnus who was a longtime oral surgeon in Kent, and named him Trustee Emeritus of Kent State in recognition of his “deep commitment and contributions to the advancement of Kent State University.” Ferrara is ending a nine-year term on the Kent State Board of Trustees, which is part of a legacy in service to education in his hometown that spans more than four decades and includes service on the Kent City Schools Board of Education. The resolution commended Ferrara, who was appointed by Ohio Gov. Bob Taft in 2006, for providing “sound leadership at a momentous time in Kent State history; for “inspired philanthropy that propelled the Golden Flashes golf program to national prominence”; and for bringing “great distinction and pride to his alma mater.”
The Board also unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Monique Menefee Profitt, who is ending her two-year term as a Student Trustee after graduating with a master’s degree in higher education administration in May 2015. The resolution commended Profitt, who also was a student trustee of Cuyahoga Community College, as a Student Trustee who has “earned the respect of all who come in contact with her;” for bringing a deep commitment to student success to her service on four Board committees and the board-administration Joint Project Oversight Committee; and for modeling a commitment to sound public policy in her “frequent advocacy in the capitols of our state and nation and in the media on behalf of TRIO programs, college access and affordability, the needs of her fellow veterans returning to the classroom, and her alma mater Kent State.”
In addition, the Board unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Greg Jarvie, an alumnus who is retiring from the university on July 31, 2015, after a career spanning 28 years, for “his key role in advancing Kent State’s momentum as a magnet for high-achieving students.” Jarvie, who has been vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (EMSA) since 2009, also was named Vice President Emeritus of EMSA. His Kent State career also includes service as university ombuds, dean of students and associate vice president.
The Board also unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Dr. Daniel Mahony, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services since 2008, who is leaving the university to become president of Winthrop University on July 1, 2015. As dean, Mahony has overseen 57 degree programs enrolling more than 5,400 students.
And the Board unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Dr. Wanda Thomas, an alumnus who is retiring on June 30, 2015, from the triple roles of interim dean of Kent State University at Trumbull, dean of the Regional College and associate provost for Regional System Integration. After a distinguished career in community-college leadership, she returned to her alma mater in 2005 to serve as dean of the Trumbull Campus.
The Board granted emeritus status to: Dr. Gregg Andrews, special assistant to the associate provost, Tuscarawas Campus; Dr. Joanne Arhar, professor and associate dean, College of Education, Health and Human Services; Dr. Kenneth Cushner, professor, Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies; Dr. Robert Dorman, professor, biological sciences; Dr. Joseph Drew, associate professor, political science; Dr. Irene Gianokos, associate professor, psychology, Trumbull Campus; Dr. Thomas Janson, professor, music; Dr. Harold Johnson, professor, lifespan development and educational sciences; Dr. Richard Kent, professor and department chair, economics; Dr. Abdul Shakoor, professor, geology; and Dr. Thomas Sosnowski, associate professor, history, Stark Campus. Emeritus status is a distinguished title that honors a faculty or staff member’s contributions by allowing him or her continued access to university resources after retirement from the university.
In other actions:
- The Board voted unanimously to re-elect Warren to a second term as Kent State president. The university constitution requires the Board to hold an annual election of the president.
- Following approval by the Faculty Senate, the Board revised the university’s policy regarding faculty tenure, effective Aug. 15, 2015. The revisions add language that disallows members of the regional-campus-wide tenure advisory boards to vote on a candidate when the member cast a ballot at a lower level of review; prohibits members from being present during deliberations or votes on the tenure of a spouse or relative; and that clarifies procedures for making decisions about tenure at the regional-campus level.
- Following approval by the Faculty Senate, the Board also revised the university’s policy regarding faculty promotion. The revisions add language that disallows members of the Kent Campus or regional campus-wide promotion advisory boards to vote on a candidate when the member cast a ballot at a lower level of review; prohibits members from being present during deliberations or votes on the promotion of a spouse or relative; and that clarifies procedures for making decisions regarding the promotion at the regional-campus level.
- The Board authorized the first phase of parking improvements to coincide with major improvements that the city of Kent will make to Summit Street, one of the key roadways to and from the Kent Campus, beginning this summer. The $4.75-million project, which will be funded through Parking Services reserves, will mitigate the loss of parking that results from the Summit Street project, which will include the construction of two roundabouts; address deferred maintenance and efficiencies within the Kent Student Center and Bowman Hall parking lots, including improved traffic patterns for motorists, public transportation, bicyclists and pedestrians; and provide continuous access to the university during the Summit Street construction process. The first phase will begin immediately and be completed over the next two summers.
- After a competitive bidding process, the Board authorized a seven-year, $3.4-million contract with Under Armour to provide athletic uniforms, apparel and footwear for the university’s various sports teams. The contract, which will be funded by Intercollegiate Athletics, provides the potential for three, one-year extensions at $480,000 per year. The Board’s action makes Kent State the first Mid-American Conference school to have a comprehensive agreement with Under Armour. The company has comprehensive contracts with Notre Dame, Maryland, South Carolina, Texas Tech and others.
- The Board established a university policy regarding the operation of the Kent Campus Student Center, Risman Plaza and Student Green, effective June 17, 2015. The policy names the vice president for Student Affairs as the administrator who has oversight of the areas and is authorized to make decisions about their operation based on university and stakeholder needs.
- The Board established a university policy to help maintain the well-being of international students by requiring that they have health insurance. The policy, which complies with the U.S. Affordable Health Care Act’s individual mandate requiring health insurance, sets a consistent standard for insurance coverage for international students, eliminating the risk that they would be unable to obtain needed health care should they become ill or injured. International students generally are not eligible for subsidized public assistance or state Medicaid.
- After a competitive bidding process, the Board selected United Healthcare to provide health insurance to students, including mandatory health coverage for international students (approved in a separate action today) and voluntary insurance for other students and authorized a one-year contract with the company that, depending on the level of student participation, is estimated to total $3.74 million. The contract includes an option to renew up to two additional, one-year contracts at about the same cost.
- As part of the second major phase of the university’s residence hall master plan, the Board authorized a $2.1-million project on the Kent Campus to upgrade and expand the cooling capacity of the East Campus Chilled Water Plant, which provides cooling to the Centennial Court housing complex, the Twin and Tri-Towers complexes, Korb Hall and Taylor Hall. The work is slated to start after the 2015 cooling season and before the 2016 cooling season.
- The Board authorized a $1.25-million project to complete the abatement and demolition of the remaining four buildings in the off-campus, 12-building Allerton Apartments residence complex, which was built in the 1960s and which an internal review found could not be economically maintained or renovated to meet current building codes and student expectations. Funds for the project have been set aside as part of the Residence Services budget. The demolition will begin later this summer and be completed during fall semester 2015.
- The Board authorized the award of a three-year, estimated $795,600 contract to the Otis Elevator Company for the provision of preventative maintenance of the university’s large fleet of elevators and other vertical transportation devices. The contract allows for two, one-year contract extensions at $265,200 per additional year.
- The Board renewed the university’s contract with Sodexo, Inc., to provide dining options for students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. The one-year renewal of the food-service contract, which is expected to cost approximately $15 million, is part of the Dining Services budget. This is the last one-year renewal provided for under the university’s five-year contract with Sodexo.
- The Board authorized two contracts for subscription services that together will provide the comprehensive range of periodicals, newspapers and serials needed to support university research and teaching. After a competitive bidding process, the University Libraries administration selected EBSCO Information Services and Otto Harrassowitz GmbH & Co KG as the vendors that offered the best overall value. Both the five-year, $3.5-million contract with EBSCO and the five-year, $2.5-million contract with Harrassowitz are part of the Universities Libraries budget. Each contract allows for two, two-year extensions at a cost of approximately $700,000 and $500,000 each year, respectively.
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